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Marion County sees another uptick in COVID-19 cases, positivity rate

By Florida Department of Health in Marion County

May 20, 2022

 

Ocala, Fla.—Marion County has experienced another increase in the number of newly reported COVID-19 cases. The community’s positivity rate also has risen.

The state’s most recent COVID-19 summary, released Friday, showed the following key points for Marion County from the week of May 13-19:

  • New cases: 413. That was up from 303 cases recorded in the last state report released on May 6. Friday’s total was the highest weekly number of new cases in Marion County since the Feb. 25 report, when 419 new infections were recorded.
  • The county’s cumulative case total as of May 19: 84,833. 
  • Positivity rate: 9%. That is up from 6.7% as noted in the state’s May 6 report. That is also the highest-state-reported rate for Marion County since Feb. 18, when it was 10.3%.
  • Statewide positivity rate: 13.4%.
  • Vaccines: 68. That was down from the 89 vaccines noted in the state’s May 6 report.
  • Overall ratio of county residents 5 or older who have been vaccinated: 63%.

“We’ve seen enough of COVID-19 after more than two years to know that it tends to be seasonal. The upswing in our community as we approach summer is also happening in many other parts of Florida and across the country,” said Department of Health in Marion County Administrator Mark Lander.

“But the new data also suggest that our community should continue to work on reducing the spread of the virus as much as possible. Residents can do that by staying home if they don’t feel well and ensuring they use good personal hygiene.”

The Department of Health also reminds county residents that COVID-19 vaccines help reduce serious illness and hospitalizations.

From COVID-19 cases reported during the week of May 13-19, Marion County saw:

  • An average of 59 new cases per day
  • 9% positivity rate
  • A total of 68 people vaccinated

For the week of April 29 to May 5, the period covered by the last state report, Marion saw:

  • An average of 43.3 new cases per day
  • 6.7% positivity rate
  • A total of 89 people vaccinated

For the week of April 15-21, Marion saw:

  • An average of 20.3 new cases per day
  • 3.5% positivity rate
  • A total of 58 people vaccinated

For the week of April 1-7, Marion County saw:

  • An average of 13.9 new cases per day
  • 2.4% positivity rate
  • A total of 94 people vaccinated

For the week of March 18–24, Marion saw:

  • An average of 8 new cases per day
  • 1.2% positivity rate
  • A total of 87 vaccinated

For the week of March 4–10, Marion saw:

  • An average of 17.9 new cases per day
  • 2.4% positivity rate
  • A total of 81 people vaccinated

For the week of Feb. 25 to March 3, Marion saw:

  • An average of 33.6 new cases per day
  • 3.6% positivity rate
  • A total of 119 people vaccinated

COVID-19 vaccine availability 

The department provides free COVID-19 vaccinations from 8:30–11:30 a.m. and 1–4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, at its main office, 1801 SE 32nd Ave., Ocala.

No appointment is necessary. Walk-ins are welcome.

The department encourages people with questions about vaccines to consult with their health care provider.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for all age groups. People 18 and older may choose from the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Pfizer vaccine for children under 12 has the same active ingredients as the vaccine given to adults and adolescents. But the dose for 5- to 11-year-olds is only one-third the amount in the adult vaccine. The vaccine also is administered with smaller needles designed specifically for children.

Under the CDC’s latest guidelines, children ages 5 to 11 with moderately or severely compromised immune systems may receive an additional primary dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine after waiting at least 28 days from receiving their second dose in the primary vaccination series. 

The CDC also has reduced the wait time for a booster dose for people 18 and older who have completed either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccination series.

Adults and children ages 12 to 17 are now eligible for a booster shot five months after their primary series is completed. To reiterate, only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is authorized for children under age 18.

Besides the Department of Health in Marion County, vaccines can be obtained throughout the county at many pharmacies, doctor’s offices, health clinics and health centers.

Visit floridahealthcovid19.gov to learn more about vaccine locations. 

COVID-19 testing continues locally

Curative Inc., a mobile lab service, offers COVID-19 testing from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the Florida Horse Park, 11008 S. County Rd. 475, Ocala. 

Curative uses a shallow nasal PCR test with results available via email or text within 24 to 48 hours. Tests are shipped out daily at the close of business. 

The tests are self-administered, but a site specialist provides customers guidance on how to best perform the test. 

Curative welcomes walk-ins. But the company says it is easier for patients to register for an appointment at Curative.com. 

COVID-19 treatment options

Monoclonal antibody therapy is currently available in Florida. Monoclonal antibody treatments can prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death in high-risk patients. 

Anyone 12 and older who is considered at high risk for severe illness due to COVID-19 is eligible for this treatment. 

In addition to monoclonal antibody treatment, Florida has introduced therapeutics such as AstraZeneca’s Evusheld, Pfizer’s Paxlovid and Merck’s molnupiravir, which can be administered with a physician’s prescription.

For more information about monoclonal antibody treatment and other therapeutics, visit floridahealthcovid19.gov and click the “Treatment Locator” tab at the top of the page. 

Find out more

For more information, call the Department of Health in Marion County at 352-644-2590.

Visit marion.floridahealth.govmarionflcovid.org and twitter.com/flhealthmarion for the latest information on COVID-19 and vaccinations. Visit floridahealthcovid19.gov and use the Vaccine Locator and Testing Sites tools to find vaccination and testing sites near you.